Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back to Healthcare Reform School

If history repeats itself, we might as well do the same thing - which is why we're recycling this cartoon and commentary from earlier this year (3/27/17)...

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Now that healthcare reform reform has failed, two groups of people are celebrating. Those who love Obamacare the most, and those who hate Obamacare the most.

At this point, it's moot to debate the relative virtues or failures of the proposed GOP bill, but we are going to take strong exception to the idea that if the healthcare system is allowed to completely collapse in the next few years (which Trump is enthusiastically tweeting as a "plan"), that America's sick, dying, overcharged, and uninsured will blame the out-of-power Democrats for having created Obamacare, rather than the fat and happy Republican legislators who stood around this national bonfire roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.

Put another way, when our healthcare system fails the voters will not reward the party that did nothing (even if the reasons were good), but will instead flock to the party that promises a quick and all encompassing fix - namely, a single-payer "Medicare For All" plan.

That's going to be the Democrats, which is hardly surprising: Obamacare was designed to fail after destroying the free market health insurance system, thereby leaving fully socialized medicine as the only viable alternative. And the Dems knew human nature well enough to understand that this would assure their party power.

Think we're wrong? Just ask yourself - if you were the patient in the cartoon above, who would you blame? The former doctor who misdiagnosed you, or the current doctor who says he'll watch you suffer and die because it's the easiest way for him to remain blameless?


After posting Monday about our brief professional flirtation with the Weekly World News, we decided to indulge ourselves in the creation of another mock-up cover just to see what one of our sensationalistic stories might have looked like in the supermarket checkout line...

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Admit it - you want to read all the juicy details.


Mike aka Proof said...

Blind Nun in Elevator with Boxing Kangaroo? Well, as long as she doesn't make a habit of it!

Bobo said...

I'm putting my money on the nun. That "roo" will never know what hit him. (Usually a ruler or hard-rubber tipped wooden pointer stick).

John the Econ said...

7 years ago, I predicted that ObamaCare would succeed with its mission objective of destroying what was left of private insurance and care. It took barely 3 years to do so. The insurance and doctor I liked were gone by then, and they're never coming back, no matter what the GOP does. I never bothered to put any energy into studying the various GOP "replacement" plans because it was entirely pointless to do so for the following reasons:

A) They were going to be DOA because the Democrats and their MSM allies would see that they were "Borked" long before anyone had a chance to actually read them.

B) ObamaCare, as much as it did work for some people did so because it was a wealth-transfer scheme. Once you give people something "free", it's politically impossible to take it back, even if it means returning the money that was stolen to its rightful owners.

C) Replacing the convoluted and kludgy ObamaCare with an equally convoluted and kludgy GOP care would be about as successful, with unintended consequences equally catastrophic as ObamaCare's intended consequences.

D) Too many people want "single payer", even though many of those people know how crappy it's going to be. They're willing to roll the dice and hope they don't get really sick if it means not having to pay for their birth control and colonoscopies themselves.

If this were a bet, I'd be doubling down on the prediction I made last year, that Trump will be presenting some form of "single payer" before the 2020 election season is underway.

It will be classic triangulation, mastered by the Clintons in the '90s; The Democrats, if they stay on their current trajectory are going to do poorly in next year's mid-terms. Why? Because they still haven't accepted that Hillary Clinton is less popular than Donald Trump. Half the party is going to hang on to the idea that Hillary should be President while the other half is going to go even further to the left. Of course, neither of those options will be appealing to the "swing voters" Hillary thought she owned, and many of which already voted for Trump the first time.

So how does Trump lock those people in? He throws them the "single payer" bone. He's not going to lose much of the GOP faithful, because who are they going to vote for? Bernie Sanders? Add to this the hope that the economy finally grows by more than 2%, and Trump wins by landslide.

If you think I'm nuts, please bookmark this post and be ready to throw it in my face come November 2020. I doubt you will.

Ed G. Mann said...

The principle of no decision is a decision is proven. The GOP just repealed ObamaCare. NOW the big work ahead is to fire most of the GOPe turkeys seated currently and replace them with people who believe you can have anything from the government you want as long as YOU PAY FOR IT!

The new Party needs to be called the "TANSTAAFL PARTY". Very few of the current GOP members will qualify for candidacy. The platform is simple: coin money, provide for the common defense, provide for the Rule of Law under the Constitution and divest any form of enterprise best left to the private sector.

No one can point to any enterprise undertaken by any government (state federal or local) with pure motives initially, that didn't cost more, produce less and turn corrupt. Many were designed with this in mind to start.

Given what you see daily in DC, in your state and your local swamp, why would you think that these clowns have any hope of running a profitable business. Or even breaking even.

Fred Ciampi said...

I am just so thankful that wifey and I have Medicare with a supplement. And I also have the good old VA for what Medicare doesn't cover; which is hearing aids. If it weren't for the VA I wouldn't be able to afford my hearing aids and would be saying "eh?, what?, and did you say sumptin'?" a lot more often. Sigh, what has our country become?

Alan said...

I think former Member of Congress Bob McEwen explains why government can't fix health care really well here. (This isn't spam)

Pete (Detroit) said...

Prageru vids tend to be concise and accurate, IMAO.
Goobermint has NO business futzing w/ our doctors.
Single payer is fookin' evil. There are more MRI centers in Greater Detroit Metro (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb counties) than in the entire province of Ontario, including major cities of Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa.
In Great Britain, people buy personal insurance so they can pay to see private Dr.s, as NHS is so horrible.
Thanks, much, you greedy feckless bungholes... The Ds who Effed us, the Rs who don't have the gonz to UN-eff us, and the parasites who generally enjoy the bum-fuggery as they be gettin' da 'free' stuff.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Bob McEwen reminds me a bit of Robert Wagner. The lesson there is spot on. Toss it back into the free market, reform the blood sucking lawyers' swill pit (torte law), and make malpractice settlements conform to some form of quantitative logic (for instance: instead of paying out millions for poor old Joe's untimely demise, verify that it was, in fact, untimely and due to human error, award the family what poor old Joe would have made in the course of what was left of his life in his current position, and review the Doctor's license.) It's not just "health insurance" that has a problem, but the entire healthcare industry. Case in point: my son had an accident that separated the base of one nostril from the remainder of his face. Went to the emergency room, where the doctor looked at it, asked about the most recent tetanus shot, then literally glued the flapping nostril back in place. This at the cost of over $2,000. Not counting the wait for service, this equated to well over $8,000 an hour for all the time spent with actual employees of the hospital rendering any sort of service. That's absolutely insane. Why do they do it? Because they can - insurance, etc. will pay for most instances, and the consumer doesn't complain, as long as their copay isn't astronomical.

I agree that we need to let competition work in healthcare - from the insurance industry which is not allowed to compete over state lines, to the family doctor whose fees are inflated by the malpractice insurance costs, equipment costs, and the availability of free money from insurances and Medicare...

But John is likely right. Soon enough, we'll be in the same realm of medical squalor as the UK and Canada. Having spent SIGNIFICANT amounts of time working north of the border, I have found that those praising their system are those who don't use it much - those that think we're a bunch of philistines for opposing it have no idea what their system is all about...

Unknown said...

Yeah, they'll blame it on the republicans for not doing anything to correct it. If we can't kill obamacare because of RINOs - could we at least get a law making government employees at every level subject to the same laws as we subjects?

Probably not...

And many people are right - none of what they were talking about passing (except the out and out repeal) really didn't address any core issues - torte reform, hospitals ridiculous billing (wife had surgery - hospital got over $25k for providing the operating room - surgeon got about $700) - Pharmacy cost (Hep C treatment $80k, buy the same drugs from India for less than $1k)

Torte reform is a toughie as most congress people are lawyers and lawyers begat lawyers..

But getting the laws they pass to hit their wallet like they do everyone elses, will bring about real change...

I hope that voters have their eyes open to who these bastards and bastardesses are..

TrickyRicky said...

How very depressing. Having our healthcare become the equivalent of the NHS in the UK. Freaking wonderful. I am with John the Econ. I know how we got into this mess, but I see no way out. I hope I can stay reasonably healthy until I croak, and I hope to die suddenly. How special is that? Enjoy the decline.

AmyH said...

I dont understand why us, the 'simple' Americans, can figure out how to save health insurance/medical bills but these so called professionals, the people governing/working FOR US, just cant seem to figure it out. If there was truely a way to talk to them or email them, I would. The few times I have emailed a State Senator/Rep, I received no response. So I know a Federal one will never respond and it makes no sense emailing/calling Rep Visclosky since he loves obama care.

Oh, I LOVE the WWN cover. That is one I definitly would have bought.

Boligat said...

One aspect of any healthcare law is that it must also apply to all members of congress and they can't buy anything else.

FlyBoy said...

I swear, Republicans could f**k up a wet dream. After the last 7+ years of campaigning against Obamacare and offering up some 10 bills to repeal it, they STILL can't come up w/ a plan to do away with it. Mostly because they're afraid of what the voters will do to them. Apparently, they're comfortable with being out of power, and, as a result, useless. At the top of the pack is that tub of lard Mitch McConnell, who couldn't organize circle-jerk.

FlyBoy said...

Sorry-should say "organize a circle-jerk".

If you want to see what single-payer health care is gonna' look like, take a gander at that model of efficiency and compassion: the VA. Now there's a success story we can all be proud of!

Rod said...

U.S. Representatives stand for re-election every 2 years; U.S. Senators stand for re-election every 6 and that's staggered at 1/3 every two years. Waiting for them to die or self-destruct is more likely to get rid of them. So it would take at least 6 years of organized VOTING to dismiss every damned one of them, which seems close to what really needs to be done. Let's get started on that next time we can nominate, campaign, & vote. Take notes; bullshit peaks as elections approach. But thinking it can't be done is like agreeing Republicans can't do things now if they really wanted to; or that Democrats are patriots. We have to get organized nationwide, not just remain separated within our own states.

In fact our US Rep is OK; but is a member of an ineffective congress & apparently doesn't have the stroke (or the will) to convince enough others. I'll not vote for that Rep next time. And I'm looking forward for Senators to come up in next primaries. This is where we have to control.

About media? That will require different means. We are in a war for our nation.

Colby Muenster said...

Y'all are dead wrong (please pardon the word, "dead"). I have the utmost confidence that OUR gubmint's version of a single payer health care system will be a shining example to the rest of the world. I'm sure it will cost much less, provide oodles more coverage, and the quality of care will be beyond comparison. .

I am so very sad for my self, but exponentially more so for my kids and grandkids. We are screwed, folks. England's system is a horror, but we will find a way to make it look like gold!


Jack Colby said...

Congress needs to repeal a helluva lot more than Obamacare to fix our health care system. 2009 wasn't exactly the good ol' days. Changing how some people obtain insurance coverage didn't address ANY of the things that were driving up costs then and guess what? Those SAME things are still driving up costs. Tort reform is needed. If we have to re-visit how health insurance is bought and sold, let companies COMPETE across state lines. Health insurance policies that pay for anything and everything(if you or a family member are lucky enough to work for an employer that can afford one) increases demand for services while the supply of services remains the same(or shrinks); look at how much elective surgeries like face lifts and LASIK cost versus similarly difficult, but insured, procedures. Guvmint meddling in health care goes way back, to the establishment of Medicare and beyond. If people really want ato fix our health care system then a LOT more than Obamacare needs to be rolled back.

Geoff King said...

Speaking as someone who has had no form of health insurance for many years, I really have no comment on this topic - other than to say that if John McCain had to have the same insurance he seems pleased to force us to accept, I doubt that his recent brain surgery would have worked as well, if at all.
-Pity there-

John the Econ said...

Geoff King, if John McCain had gone to the VA like most of his fellow veterans have to, he'd have likely died on a waiting list.

Anyone who thinks that "single payer" is going to be any better than that is delusional. Like I said above, I think most people already know this, but are simply making a pocketbook decision and hoping that they never actually need the kind of care McCain is currently getting.

JustaJeepGuy said...


I signed up at the VA last year just so I wouldn't have to pay the Obamacare tax-that-wasn't-a-tax-when-it-was-passed. I was required to get looked at. I have high blood pressure and I've been going back time and again to get checked out. I didn't even really want to see a doctor, I just didn't want to pay the IRS so some lazy POS can get "insurance" without working. My VA CBOC is full of people who seem to really want to help me, and all I wanted was to not pay the "tax"!

james daily said...

This whole health thing is a mess. I learned years ago, if someone has a problem and does not fix it, they want that problem. This is proof of that. For 8 years we have toiled to put Rs in congress and senate and we have been shafted for our faith in these lying POS politicians. I do not understand how anyone elected can ignore this problem.
I honestly think Senator Cruz is trying but is being ignored. I am still 100% behind President Trump and the rest can KMA. I think it is time to us to clean house and President Trump to start kicking ass and taking names and calling out these AHs.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike aka Proof- It had to be said.

@Bobo- And being blind, her other senses are probably sharpened to "Daredevil"-like perfection!

@John the Econ- I agree with every jot and tittle of what you're saying. Trump has pretty much said that he'd like single-payer (albeit under another name) and has praised it in other countries. It's only a matter of time, and I think a re-election effort will set the clock.

@Ed G. Mann- How I wish there was a TANSTAAFL Party. At this point, I have very little hope of seeing stronger/wiser officials elected to office.

@Fred Ciampi- I'm a bit more than a month away from diving into the exciting world of Medicare. I'm on my own for hearing aids though - bought mine through SAM'S Club instead of Uncle Sam's Club.

@Alan- Thanks for sharing that link to Prager U. It's beautifully done and absolutely accurate.

@Pete (Detroit)- You're absolutely right. Of course, I can't help but wonder if some of those MRI Centers in Detroit are there to help support (or create) disability claims. Free enterprise goes where the money is.

@Emmentaler Limburger- Reforming Tort law NOW, apart from other healthcare legislation, would be huge. No one gets hurt but the lawyers, which is sort of a win-win in my book.

@Tracy Evans- The blame for allowing Obamacare to fail will fall entirely on the GOP, and not inappropriately so. They, and we, will be punished for it.

@Tricky Ricky- I think a lot of people will be sharing your strategy. And if you can't stay healthy until you croak, well, the government can help with the "die suddenly" part.

@AmyH- Unlike the "professionals," we can figure out how to save on insurance/medical bills because it's our money, which is quite a motivator. The other part of the equation is that the "professionals" have to draw up plans that cover everyone for everything, while building into their buffers room for fraud, waste, and those who won't contribute to paying for the system (whether voluntarily or involuntarily). When you add enough insane variables, the essential math goes to hell.

@Boligat- I absolutely agree. I also would like any pay or benefit raises to our electors decided by public election.

@FlyBoy- It's hard to see the previous votes against Obamacare as anything other than empty posturing (not by all, but by too many). I see this moment as our last best chance to avoid single-payer...and it ain't gonna happen.

(more replies to follow soon - I've got to go mow my Texas lawn before the morning temperature hits 3 digits...)

Rod said...

This is not meant to be a racial comment on my part, I don't know a damned thing about what caused this recent tragedy:

But before I could turn them off, last evening ABC evening news with David Muir rushed to the lead-off story about the lady who called 911 to possibly help someone else, but was soon shot herself by police. Terrible.

And ABC's report was limited to what was known. How about that!

This time a black officer shot a white woman. Were that reversed we'd have the race card already being played; stirring things up all over again. National media turns it on, and they turn it off. And we notice.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rod- I agree that we need to remain motivated to put better people in office. We shouldn't accept the status quo if only because we want to keep annoying the liberals. And your final point about the media is a huge one. I'm absolutely a strong proponent of free speech, but a monolithic and ideologically skewed media is a threat to free speech. Not that I have an answer for the problem.

@Colby Muenster- Those of us who are long in the tooth will probably stagger to the finish line under the current system. But children and grandchildren are indeed screwed. Liberals would bitch at me for "hoarding" my wealth, but I'm actually stockpiling it for my daughter's future in a flawed world.

@Jack Colby- You're right about all of it. Well said!

@Geoff King- You're lucky that you've gotten by without health insurance. Of course in retrospect, I've never needed it either - after paying several hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. As for John McCain, I don't like his politics but wish him no ill. That being said, he should get the best medical care the VA can give without preferential treatment.

@John the Econ- It's funny how "waiting list" sounds so much less lethal than "death panel," while amounting to the same thing. And I think many of those who support single payer already pay no taxes, so don't worry about the fact that someone else's taxes will be raised to pay for (bad) medical care for everyone.

@JustaJeepGuy- I'm not over-eager for the Medicare experience, but am more than ready to get out of Obamacare's crosshairs. Thanks to this screwed up up system I've paid thousands of dollars in fines (while being insured - long story) and had to make early retirement withdrawals - subject to tax - just to show enough "income" to be allowed to buy insurance instead of being automatically assigned to Medicaid.

@James Daily- I'm frankly disappointed that Trump hasn't used his bully pulpit to try to get the GOP motivated to act, nor has he taken his case to the American people about what is needed and how we can get there. At least Obama sold the crap out of his plan with innumerable speeches, albeit while lying through his teeth. Sometimes, Presidential involvement requires more than 140 characters.

@Rod- Were the races reversed, you're darn right this would have the usual faux-outrage crowd marching in the streets. I don't know what really happened here and am anxious to find out. And to me, the only "racial" angle here will be if the Somali policeman was unqualified to be hired, but swept in via a racial quota system.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

It's no mystery to me why these politicians cannot seem to punch their way out of a wet and torn paper bag. Those with any real intellect and talent are out here making their lives in the real world. Politics does not generally attract your best and brightest; nor does it attract those with much motivation to make their way. I think "politician" is the old Indian word for someone with no marketable skills...

Colby Muenster said...

Jack Colby,

Ditto and amen!
Our beloved Federal Government has been meddling in our health system for decades via idiotic rules and regulations, and it's been like death by a thousand paper cuts. Then along come the likes of Pelosi and O'Liar who, in their infinite wisdom, decided the health care system was simply not collapsing fast enough. Time for a lethal injection called The "Affordable" Care Act. We are indeed most likely doomed to single payer, which I will be anyway in a year or two (Medicare). But I'll repeat, may kids and grandkids and great grandkids and.... are screwed.

Regarding John McCain, I pray the best for him and his family. I would not deny him the best medical care possible, but only because he gave so much serving in the military, NOT because he is a Sinator. It still chafes my ass that the turds who rammed O'Liarcare down our throats get super premium health care that WE pay for!

A personal story:
Three weeks ago, I got smashed in the face by a car spring when the spring compressors gave away. My daughter was there and rushed me to emergency. I was immediately admitted, CAT scan, face sewed up, and sent off with prescriptions, all within a couple hours. I shudder to imagine that same situation in jolly old England! I'd probably still be bleeding in the waiting room.

Sortahwitte said...

I'm still looking for the story about the nun and the 'roo.
You weren't just blowing smoke were you?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Sortahwitte- Didn't mean to leave you hanging. The drill with WWN was I'd submit headlines and, if they were approved, I'd then write the story. Truthfully and non-fictionally, of course. In this case, I never wrote the accompanying story.

pdwalker said...

WWN really lost out when they didn't give you a contract.

And you need a picture like this photoshopped into a picture of a bunch of tall skyscrapers.

Anonymous said...

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